FTHBP 2006-2008

Background:

 

Community in Edmonton takes on the City's First Time Home Buyers Program

The community of Bulyea Heights in Edmonton, Alberta is asking the City and Province of Alberta to reconsider the inappropriate use of the exemption Clause in the Municipalities Act that strips the required and due process of public consultation in regards to the rezoning of surplus school land and development of medium density row housing.  The community is also asking the City to reconsider the need for such housing, considering the current inventory levels in the housing market.

 

Edmonton, Alberta May 14, 2008 – In a somewhat brave step forward, the community of Bulyea Height, more commonly referred to as Brookview,  in Southwest Edmonton, is striking forward in its quest to make the City accountable for the removal of  public consolation and rights to appeal from the disposal, rezoning and development of school surplus sites throughout the city Edmonton. The community believes the City has no right to bypass the consultation process that is laid out in the Municipalities Act used to govern and guide and protect the rights of it's citizens in the towns and cities and municipalities throughout Alberta. The community  is asking the City to provide compelling reasons why public consultation should not be required and why development permits are no longer required and the rights to appeal such permits have been removed.

 

In November of 2006, Mayor Stephen Mandell introduced a plan to transform surplus school site land throughout Edmonton into land for the development of row-housing for first time home buyers.  This plan would see the revitalization of some neighbourhoods as well as a price break for up to 1000 first time home buyers.  Bulyea Heights has no issue with the intent of the program, but questions whether the concept works well for every community in the city.  With the exemption of the much needed public consultation, how are these questions going to be answered?

 

Brookview believes that the location and density of the project is not appropriate for the community.

The community would like to see that the Minister of Municipalities take a careful review of the use of the exemption clause put into place by the government of Ralph Klein at the 11th hour of his premiership.  The community would like an answer as to the appropriate use of this exemption and whether removing the rights of the citizens was its original intent.  If the minister agrees with the opinion of the community of Bulyea Heights, then it would be expected that he reverse the original ruling and that the City be once again required to involve the citizens in the entire process.

 

The City should answer the question as to the current market and availability of houses at affordable rates for first time home buyers, why is this program still necessary?

 

For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release visit www.brookview.ca

About Bulyea Heights:
1120 single family households all belonging to a home owners association.  Located just south of the Whitemud Drive and east of Terwillegar Drive, banking onto the White Creek Ravine,

 

 

 In 2006, the Mayor announced the First Time Home Buyers' Program that would take surplus school lands in Edmonton and build affordable housing for first time home buyers.  Brookview formed a committee. 

Here are some important documents  By reading through (from bottom up) you will begin to understand the problems that Brookview was faced with:
 

 

23. Here is a concept plot plan of the school/parkland area

22. At the very beginning, the provincial Government pushed through land deal through an Order-in-Council. Here is the original document that has 72 parcels of land declared. Some of the school yards are made up of multiple parcels and in order to allow the movement of the building pocket, it appears that all these parcels needed to be rezoned.

21. On October 15th, this e-mail was sent inside the City and copied to Bryan Anderson and Mike Nickel. This indicates that the FTHB program is moving on the fast track. We need to move now and fight this!

20. We requested to have the November 17 Mayor's report and meeting minutes release. It was originally sealed under FOIPP. This is what was sent to us. I am currently requesting that the Privacy Commissioner review the document and try to give more information. They will reply to me in January. Here is what the City released.

19. On May 16, This article appeared in the Edmonton Journal regarding the FTHBP and how the pilot communities are reacting

18. On April 2, BCAL sent out this letter to every household in Brookview regarding the status of the FTHBP and BCAL position regarding this program

17. This is from Russ Dalms from the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. He has had some correspondences with the City. As well this document has notes from the Jan 17 Meeting with community leagues that are affected by the FTHBP

16. This e-mail is in response to Dan Check's e-mail to the Councillors regarding point 13 and 13-a (below). It indicates that the school site was declared surplus already in 1994!

15. Here is an excellent letter to the editor from the Edmonton Journal on January 7, 2007.

14. The Terwillegar Riverbend Advisory Community (TRAC) had written a letter to the Mayor expressing concerns from the community's point of few regarding the process of with the Order of Council was used to push this rezoning of land through (see Item 3 below). This is the Mayor's response.

13-a. In March of 2006, this letter was sent to a resident along Buchanan Road

13. In January of 2006, there was a proposal to rezone the schoolyard to parkland Here is a proposed rezoning map. This proposal is listed as a status of "In Progress". The application # is 054326561-001. The interesting point here is that it appears that the school area had already been released

12. Here is the original plan for Bulyea Height (interesting read)

12a. This plan was recently consolidated and reprinted for Bulyea Height with all the amendments that were done to it over the years

11. Here is a profile of Brookview based on the census statistics[/url] (this one is big and could take a while to display)

10. Here are the minutes from the November 17 Special City Council meeting where the Mayor's report was placed into privacy under FOIPP

9. Here is the "freedom of information and protection of privacy act".

8. Here is the letter from the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL) expressing concerns as to the process used in pushing through the zoning changes

7. Amendment bylaw 14440

6. Amendment bylaw 14441

5. Amendment bylaw 14442

4. Recommendation regarding bylaw amendments

3. Letter to City from TRAC supporting Brookview

2. December 12 amendment to the Bylaws

1. City Policy C468 pertaining to the use of funds from the sale of surplus school land

 

This is the proposed location of the site: